Why choose this course
Training to become an actor is an intensive process which requires curiosity, courage and commitment. At Guildford School of Acting, we’ll help you develop your imagination, range, skills and technique. You’ll learn how to prepare for rehearsal, how to rehearse and how to use independent and proactive processes to achieve your best work possible for stage and screen.
What you will study
Drawing on the teaching and practices of Stanislavsky and Lecoq, our BA (Hons) Acting course will develop your technical skills – from singing to stage combat. You’ll learn important critical and evaluative skills, and develop your imagination through play, improvisation and scene work.
You’ll also take screen acting classes and complete film and radio projects that allow you to explore the processes needed in today’s recorded media.
You’ll attend classes and workshops with guest speakers to develop your professional network and employment opportunities. As you come to the end of your course, you’ll complete your transition to professional performer with a final showcase presentation in a West End theatre with invited agents and industry guests.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Our graduates have an unrivalled employment record in West End shows and national tours. Our very distinguished alumni include performers such as:
- Brenda Blethyn OBE
- Oliver James
- Bill Nighy
- Owen Teale
- Celia Imrie
- Jonjo O’Neill
- Kobna Holdbrook-Smith MBE
- Billy Carter
- Ian Kelsey
- Rob Kazinsky
- Chris Geere
- Claire Cooper
- Justin Fletcher MBE.
Our alumni have performed in the following theatre productions on the West End, in film and in television:
- Girl from the North Country, Noel Coward Theatre
- The Effect, The Royal National Theatre
- Richard III, The Royal Shakespeare Company
- Warhorse, New London Theatre
- Strangers on a Train, Gielgud Theatre
- Chariots of Fire, Gielgud and Hampstead Theatres
- The Rivals, Theatre Royal, Haymarket
- The Mousetrap, St Martin’s Theatre
- The Tempest, The Old Vic
- The 39 Steps, Criterion Theatre
- The Favourite, Fox Searchlight.
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Working Title
- Calendar Girls, Buena Vista Productions
- Defiance, Paramount Pictures
- Nanny McPhee, Universal Pictures
- Pacific Rim, Warner Bros
- Red Tails, 20th Century Fox
- What a Girl Wants, Warner Brothers
- Saving Grace, 20th Century Fox
- The Prince & Me: Elephant Adventure, First Look.
- The Prince & Me 4: Royal Adventures in Paradise, First Look Studios
- Love Actually, Universal Pictures
- 28 Days Later, 20th Century Fox.
- Vera, ITV
- Death In Paradise, BBC
- Waterloo Road, BBC
- Death Comes to Pemberley, BBC
- The Great Train Robbery
- A Copper’s Tale, BBC
- Doctor Who – "Day of the Doctor", BBC
- My Mad Fat Diary, E4
- Game of Thrones, HBO
- The Café, Sky 1
- Holby City, BBC
- Casualty, BBC
- Doctors, BBC
- Silk, BBC
- Midsomer Murders, ITV
- Stella, Sky 1
- Call the Midwife, BBC
- Fresh Meat, E4
- True Blood, HBO
- Hollyoaks, Channel 4
- Trollied, Sky 1
- The Crown, Netflix.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) delivers its provision across three teaching blocks, within the University of Surrey’s existing semester structure.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/21 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach. View detailed information on the changes.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
We assess modules individually and award credits for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
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Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
Other international qualifications
If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
We make offers in terms of grades after a successful audition and interview.
If you can demonstrate exceptional talent, and can satisfy the panel of your ability to successfully complete the course, you may be considered for a place irrespective of your academic background.
Please note: A non-refundable audition fee is usually charged. Further information can be found on the GSA website.
You may wish to consider applying for our Acting Foundation, via the GSA website. Please note that this foundation course does not form part of a BA (Hons) degree. If you would like to study BA (Hons) Acting after the foundation course you should apply separately through UCAS.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please contact Admissions on +44 (0)1483 682222 with any queries.
The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2021
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: The UK is now no longer part of the EU, we are awaiting further instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. Find out more information about Studying in the UK and the Scholarships for EU students.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
There are associated costs with this course:
- General programme costs: £25 approximately – train ticket for a day trip to the National Gallery, London
- Production expenses: £175 to £350 – portfolio photos
- Safety equipment and/or uniform: £200 approximately – uniform including specialist footwear and boneprop
- UK-based activity: £150 – theatre trips (you should aim to see some live theatre throughout the course)
Grand total: £515 – £700 approximately
In the final year, you may wish to apply for Spotlight (including graduates casting list) and Equity membership – £350 approximately. You may also wish to join the GSA Students' Union Society – £5 per annum.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Santander Diversity Award
Application Deadline: 05.04.21
Find out more
Surrey EU Undergraduate Scholarships
Application Deadline: 30.09.21
Find out more
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and procedures, the student regulations , and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View an example of our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) from the 2020/2021 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us and before you accept an offer. Read more.
In particular we wish to draw your intention to the following matters affecting the academic year 2021/2022:
- Covid-19 - In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/2021 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach, details of which can be found here [link]. It is anticipated that these programme changes and the hybrid learning approach will be adopted throughout the academic year 2021/2022, however, given the changing nature of the pandemic, this is being kept under continuous review. Detailed information on all changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the coronavirus course changes page. The linked pages set out information relating to general University changes and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.
- Brexit - The UK is now no longer part of the EU. We are awaiting further information and instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. EU students applying for programmes in the academic year 2021/2022 and students applying for courses with placements abroad should visit our dedicated webpages for the latest information on how the UK’s departure from the EU will affect their courses.